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I would like to begin with the following passage found in John chapter 20. The disciples are assembled together "for fear of the Jews." John 20:19. Then Jesus stands in their midst and shows "them His hands and His side." John 20:20. Jesus speaks to them and says, "Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." John 20:21. After Jesus said this, the Scriptures record, "He breathed on them, and saith unto them, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost.'" John 20:22.
The disciples went from having fear to having peace when Christ breathed upon them the Holy Spirit.
They received it from Jesus. Jesus imparted His own peace to them.
We know that Christ gave Himself for our sins, but He did something more. He gave Himself to us. When we receive the Holy Spirit we are receiving the life of Christ. Think of it like a blood transfusion. When one person shares his blood with some else, that other person has his blood. When we pour water from one glass to another we are transfusing that water. So when Jesus transfuses His patience to us, we now have His patience.
Let's say that there is someone that I hate. What can I do? I can ask for forgiveness, and I should. But I can do more. I can ask Jesus to share with me His love for that person. By nature, we do not love as Christ loves. But we can receive His agape love from above. Christ will share with us His love for people. He will share His mercy, longsuffering, temperance, kindness, and such, with us.
In fact, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to instill in us the life of Christ. When we pray for the Holy Spirit we are asking for the impartation of the Holy Spirit. But what is the impartation of the Holy Spirit? It is the impartation of the life of Christ.
So when we pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit we are asking to be filled with the life of Christ. They are one and the same.
To help explain how God intends to share Himself with us I would like to introduce you to the Greek word, "koinonia," It is the Greek word for "fellowship." It denotes something shared between two persons. Let us consider a few verses where we find the Greek word "koinonia."
"God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship ["koinonia"] of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:9.
Notice that we are "called" to have "fellowship" with Jesus. In fact, it is when we allow Jesus to share Himself with us that we are truly Christians. Christianity is not merely a set of beliefs. It is a vital connection with Jesus Christ.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion ["koinonia"] of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2 Cor. 13:14.
In this verse the Greek word "koinonia" is translated as "communion." So we are to have "koinonia" or "communion" with the Holy Spirit. Does this mean that we will share something in common with the Holy Spirit?
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship ["koinonia"] with us: and truly our fellowship ["koinonia"] is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3.
The Scriptures are clear, we are to have "koinonia" or "fellowship" with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, God wants to share Himself with us, that we may receive from Him His patience for our children, love for our enemies, temperance in all things, kindness towards others, and such.
God is not asking us to improve our fallen natures, but to receive a new nature. We are to receive the life of Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit's work to impart to us the life of Christ, so that it is no longer we who live but Christ lives in us. See Galatians 2:20.
When each one of us allows God to share Himself with us, then we are able to have true Christian fellowship with one another, where the Jesus in me meets the Jesus in you. What makes a church family the body of Christ is when each one of us is in fellowship with Jesus. We become one body, working together with various gifts and talents with that selfsame Spirit.
Because of our fellowship with both the Father and the Son, "we have fellowship [koinonia] one with another." 1 John 1:7. Thus the Bible speaks of "the communion [koinonia] of the body of Christ." 1 Cor. 10:16. The church then becomes a body of believers who share "that one and selfsame Spirit." 1 Cor. 12:11.
When we receive the life of Jesus what do we receive? We receive life.
When the Father gave to this rebellious world His only Son-That's life!
When Jesus chose to leave the glories of heaven and became poor that we might become rich-That's life!
When as a boy, Jesus shared His lunch with those less fortunate-That's life!
When Jesus healed the man with a withered hand-That's life!
When He went through a town and healed all who were sick-That's life!
When Jesus had compassion for the multitude and fed them-That's life!
When He spent time witnessing to individuals like Nicodemus-That's life!
When He cleansed His Father's House from unholy merchandising traffic-That's life!
When He passed by no one as worthless, but inspired them to become a son or daughter of God-That's life!
When He reached out to the downcast of society-That's life!
When He broke down social prejudice and healed the centurion's servant-That's life.
When He desired the salvation of a Samaritan woman-That's life.
When He took the simple things in life and spoke as no one had ever spoke-That's life!
After they dragged Jesus through seven unjust trials and then nailed Him to a cross, He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."-That's life!
In God is life, and without God there is no life-for He is the life.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:11, 12. Life is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Truth. See Galatians 5:22.
But hate, anger, impatience, violence, harshness, evil, pride, and lies are death.
So when we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we are asking God to share His life or transfuse His life in us. We are asking God to breathe upon us His perfect attributes of character.
The following verses tell us that we enter into this fellowship with God by partaking of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:3, 4.
"According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers ["koinonia"] of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
In this passage, the word "partakers" is that same Greek word "koinonia." We have fellowship/koinonia with God by "partaking of His divine nature."
Now consider the following Bible passages as you think about how God wants to share His life with you.
Jesus said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." John 6:53-57.
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Paul said, "For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them." 2 Cor. 6:16
Paul said, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9
Paul wrote, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." Galatians 4:6
Christ became one of us in flesh and blood that we might become one with Him in character. Our union with Christ is more than merely a manifestation of divine power; it is a manifestation of the life of Christ.
Now notice that we can receive Christ's life through God's Word.
"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63
There is life in God's Word; this life is the life Christ. But we must not be mere readers of God's Words. We must be receivers and doers of God's Word. In other words, apple seeds in your hand are not an orchard. These seeds must be planting in the heart and carried out into the life before they will bear the fruit of a Christlike character.
Ephesians 3:8-11, 15-19 tells us that God purposely created us in such a way that He could share Himself with us. "Unto me [Paul], who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. And to make all men see what is the fellowship [koinonia] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" Verses 8, 9.
Paul had been taken to the third heaven and was shown the "unsearchable riches of Christ." Imagine what beautiful things he must have seen. He no doubt saw things that our feeble human language cannot adequately describe. However, in the following verses he is attempting to help our finite minds grasp the beautiful mystery of fellowship with God. The fellowship/koinonia that we have with God is a mystery. It is a beautiful mystery that has been hid in the heart of God before anything was. When the Father created us through His Son, Jesus Christ, we were created for fellowship.
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." Verse 10.
The Father would manifest His wisdom, through the church, via His fellowship with each member. The whole of the angelic order and unfallen worlds would better understand this wonderful fellowship of the mystery by beholding the precious fellowship/koinonia that God has with the human family.
"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. . . . Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Verses 11, 15-19.
It is through the "fellowship of the mystery" that we all become part of the family of God, whereby Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, and we are strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.
In closing, there is no such thing as eternal life without God in your life. Why? Because the only life that is eternal is the life of God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit possess eternity. Therefore, when we have fellowship/koinonia with Them, we have life eternal. God created us for fellowship with Himself. He made us in such a way that He could share His perfect character traits of mercy, kindness, love, patience, and such, with us. So let each one of us reach out to God with our whole heart. Let us study the life of Christ, point by point, and know that His life is to become our own. Let us give Him our impatience that we may receive His patience. Let us give Him our ill feelings toward someone and receive His love for that person. Let us give up all of the old life, to put on Christ and receive the new life. This is the good news of Jesus Christ. He is Emmanuel, God with us and in us.
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